With lockdown easing it's the perfect time to rediscover our city, and there's surely no better place to start than the Civic Precinct! Aside from the ample dining options, there's always something happening at the city's cultural attractions.
With Newcastle Museum and Newcastle Art Gallery reopening today, it's time to get back out there and soak up the best our city has to offer. With so much to see and do, it’s also the ultimate destination to use your Dine & Discover vouchers. By day or by night, here are a few ways to enjoy Newcastle’s Civic precinct…
Newcastle Museum is an accessible, vibrant centre where there are always things to do, see and learn. Aside from the permanent exhibitions on display, there are also a range of unique exhibitions to check out. Don't miss The Castanet Club: an exhibition you can dance to!, a bright and colourful exhibition that has recently been extended until mid-November for those of us who missed out on seeing it before lockdown.
Working closely with original Castanets, Newcastle Museum has gathered costumes, props and performance footage as well as newly commissioned work from artist Michael Bell and documentary filmmakers, Chit Chat von Loopin Stab and Tony Whittaker that explore The Castanet Club’s influence and legacy. This is an exhibition not to be missed!
Nearby is the Newcastle Visitor Information Centre, and it’s not just for tourists. Located in its new digs at the former Civic Railway Station, a visit to the VIC will inspire you with plenty of ideas for ways to enjoy our city. They also stock a great range of products from local makers - the perfect spot for a bit of a shop.
Across Hunter Street is the magnificent Civic Theatre, the heart and soul of live performance in Newcastle. From theatre, dance and film to comedy and live music, the theatre regularly plays host to a variety of events. Housed in the same building is the Playhouse, an intimate multi-purpose theatre for smaller live performance events and the popular Civic Cinema. While you’re here enjoy a drink and a bite to eat at at the Civic Theatre Cafe.
Sitting behind Civic Theatre is Newcastle City Hall, a heritage listed building located off King Street. While you can often find corporate functions and weddings here, it’s also a popular venue for music and speaking events. Appreciate the grandeur of this magnificent building while enjoying upcoming events like The War on 2021 and Julia Jacklin.
Opposite City Hall is Civic Park, home to the Vietnam and WW1 War memorials and the Captain Cook Memorial Fountain. Civic Park is a beautiful green space ideal for a picnic, and also home to the monthly Olive Tree Market held on the first Saturday of each month.
Climb the steps beside the Memorial Fountain at Civic Park and you will find yourself at Newcastle Library. If you haven’t visited a library in while, it might be about time you did because it’s probably quite different from how you remember! With book clubs, storytime and personal development courses, there’s always plenty of events happening to keep the whole family learning and thriving. The Library branches are set to open from Monday 25 October.
Newcastle Art Gallery is located next door, the city’s major cultural institution for the visual arts. With high quality exhibitions, public programs and events, the Art Gallery is well worth a visit for those with a passion and curiosity for the visual arts. Upcoming exhibitions include INSTRUMENTAL CAUSE and THE ART OF PROTEST.
Aside from the ample food and drink options in the area, the Civic precinct is home to some pretty amazing architecture. Make sure you check out NUspace, the University of Newcastle’s innovative city campus, and Kingsley, the new 5-star hotel bringing a new level of luxury to Newcastle. Finish your day with a wander down Darby St to make the most of the many cafes, restaurants, bars and eclectic retailers.
Sitting in the heart of Newcastle, the Civic precinct is an easy destination to get to. If you’re driving, try parking in the Wright Lane Carpark near Honeysuckle or the Civic Public Carpark near Darby Street, and wandering through to the Civic precinct. The area is also easily accessible by public transport with its very own Civic light rail stop and bus routes that drop passengers off on King Street opposite Civic Park. If active travel is more your style, there are plenty of bike racks in the area.